I am in my late 30s (where did all the years go? I still feel like I am a teenager!) and I have been living with mental illness since my early teens, if not earlier. I was diagnosed with an ‘official mental illness’ by a psychiatrist when I was about 20 only to have that diagnosis dismissed by lesser qualified doctors. I spent the next nearly 20 years trying to keep my head above the stormy sea that is mental illness before being again diagnosed with almost the same thing I had been told I was suffering from almost 20 years earlier. So I think I have a thing or two to say about mental illness, living with mental illness and mental health services. To add to my self-proclaimed ‘expertise’ I also have a partner who suffers from depression and to add icing, whipped cream and cherries to the cake, I am a qualified social worker and counsellor and have been working in the field for 14 years. I am also a mother, partner, feminist, blogger, social justice activist, writer and country mouse.